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5 Types of Security Audits for Your Data Center

By Northland Controls, Dec 15, 2021

In 2020, there were more than one billion reported cyber-attacks with more than 155 million records exposed.

Those numbers are quite staggering and immediately draw your mind to the cyber-security world. However, it’s not just cyber security that is needed to protect your company’s sensitive data. Your data center’s physical security also plays a crucial role in securing against these types of bad actors and potential threats.

While implementing a strong physical security program lays the foundation, making sure it remains up to date through audits and on-going maintenance is the key to longevity. Because these facilities house some of the most business-critical applications and data, ensuring its safety needs to be an on-going priority for physical security professionals.

According to Cullen Fair, Northland Controls’ Program Manager, teams should set a clear goal for each of these audits. Whether looking for vulnerabilities, inventorying current assets, or ensuring compliance, these goals will guide the process and help teams remain on track and within budget. He goes on to say that the frequency of these audits will depend on the type of facility you are protecting but should be conducted at least once a year.

Here are five types of audits for data centers that should remain on your radar:

Physical Security: Conducting an audit of your physical security systems identifies whether you have that the right systems, people, and procedures in place to secure your facility. When an event does occur, having the proper infrastructure in helps avoid or diminish the consequences of an attack. During this audit, assess each layer of security for any potential gaps starting with the perimeter and working inward towards the cabinet controls.

Access Control: Focusing on one of the most critical systems within your physical security ecosystem, an access control audit reviews access lists, policies, and procedures to correct any outdated records or inefficiencies. Because controlling who has access to each layer of your facility is a top priority, conducting an access control audit will work to ensure current and past employees, vendors, and other stakeholders have appropriate access levels and revoke any outdated privileges. Removing these vulnerabilities can limit attacks due to insider threats and unauthorized access levels.

Asset: An asset audit helps teams understand what equipment is housed within your data center. This includes looking at both the hardware, like servers and doors, as well as the type of technology powering it. This type of audit can be beneficial when it’s time to upgrade your security technology as it gives you a holistic picture of what you currently have running within your building.

Energy Efficiency: With a consistent supply of power needed to keep servers and facilities up and running, data centers use a lot of energy. And that can be costly. But, by conducting an energy efficiency audit, teams look at things like temperature, HVAC settings, and lighting levels for opportunities to reduce the total amount of energy needed to power your building. Use this information to create benchmarks for future audits that drive more intelligent business decisions.

Compliance and Standards: Many organizations are subject to government or industry specific standards due to the type of data they store in their data center. These regulations are implemented to protect and secure the end user’s information and carry severe repercussions if not followed correctly. Conducting a compliance and standards audit will not only help teams ensure they remain compliant with current regulations but implement any new standards moving forward to avoid consequences such as fines or a tarnished reputation.

A lot goes into securing a data center, and a strong and healthy physical security system plays a big part in keeping threats at bay. Learn more about physical security best practices for your data center and advanced technologies that are being deployed to combat modern day threats that could lead to a dreaded data breach.

Northland Controls specializes in designing, implementing, and maintaining physical security for data centers worldwide. If your team needs support in securing your facility, reach out to our team of security experts by emailing